How to Replace Tubeless Tire Valve Stemsby Skip Shelton
Tire valves are seated in a wheel rim, and they allow tubeless tires to be pressurized with air. The valve forms a tight seal with the rim to ensure no air loss occurs while driving the vehicle. Valve stems should be inspected periodically for cracking, leaking or deterioration, and they should be replaced as needed. Gradual air loss through a failed valve stem may be the reason a tire appears to have a hole but no damage can be found. Valve stems should be replaced whenever you get new tires to help ensure long tire life.
Identify whether or not the valve stem to be replaced has a tire pressure monitoring sensor (TPMS). This sensor electronically communicates tire pressure levels to the vehicle's computer to allow monitoring of abnormal or unsafe pressure. Removal of a TPMS-enabled valve stem requires that the tire be removed and that the TPMS be removed from the valve stem prior to valve stem removal, or damage to the TPMS will occur.
Identify whether the valve stem to be replaced is a high-pressure stem. Passenger vehicle valve stems typically have a rating of 65 psi. If pressure is expected to exceed this under load, high-pressure valve stems should be used.
Deflate the tire. Push the tire seat away from the rim to allow access to the underside of the wheel rim where the valve stem is placed.
Lubricate the valve stem prior to insertion. A small amount of liquid dish soap may be used.
Push the valve stem through the rim. Remove the valve stem from the wheel. If your valve stem is on an alloy wheel, the valve stem may be a clamp-on style with a nut. Thread and tighten the nut to ensure a snug fit.
Insert the new valve stem from inside the rim and pull through until the rubber grommet is seated. A properly seated valve stem will allow the gap between the front and rear of the valve stem to be filled by the rim. This will form a tight seal under pressure of the air contained in the tire. Make sure that the valve stem is aligned evenly to allow a tight fit under pressure.
Seat the tire and inflate. Check the valve stem core and the valve stem for leaks prior to driving.
- Make sure that the replacement valve stem is correct for the tire and wheel. Auto parts stores will identify whether or not the valve stem style is correct for the current application.
Things You'll Need
- Crescent wrench
- Liquid dish soap
- If lubrication is required to properly seat a valve stem, do not use an oil-based lubricant, as the rubber of the valve stem will absorb the oil and may cause premature deterioration.
Skip Shelton has been writing since 2001, having authored and co-authored numerous articles for "Disclose Journal." He holds a Bachelor in Science in education and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in management from Northwest Nazarene University. Shelton also operates a small automotive maintenance and part-replacement shop.